Brandon Sheffield from Insert Credit asked me why Banjo moved so slowly while I was playing the E3 demo. I didn’t have an answer for him at the time, but after completing a few puzzle piece challenges I figured it out. Rare designed Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts as a game where you drive you-construct-them vehicles and not for platform jumping.
Getting from where one person dropped the controller to a challenge felt like a chore until I found a basic missile shooting truck rolled over on its side. I pressed the Y button to hop into it which changed the controls to driving mode. The right trigger moves the car forward and the left trigger moves it backwards. I drove around the level snagging flashing music notes and crashing into glass cubes for fun. When the truck toppled over I pressed the right bumper to push it back on its side.
When I found someone with a puzzle piece over their head he challenged “Bear” to do stunts with a springy car. The first move was to drift and make skid marks. The next was to jump in the air by pressing the A button and touch floating green circles. The controls may differ depending on how you set up your vehicle. A Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time style visual menu on the top right hand corner of the screen indicates what button activates which gadget. The spring loaded car has a strange sense of inertia in mid-air. It didn’t feel like it had weight since the car floated to the ground. Maybe the atmosphere in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts is more viscous than Earth’s. The final task was to do flips and barrel rolls with the awkwardly light vehicle.
I spoke with Richard Mitchell from Xbox 360 Fanboy about Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts as he seemed to enjoy the game. He didn’t play the Nintendo 64 games so maybe his expectations are different from mine, but I remember the Banjo-Kazooie series as a platformer, not Lego Driving Challenge. Supposedly, there are platforming elements in the Xbox 360 game, but they weren’t implemented in the demo.
Images courtesy of Microsoft.